Universities are forcing students to go to their graduations alone, while their families watch online, in defiance of the Government’s scrapping of Covid restrictions in England. The Telegraph has more.
Students have waited up to two years for a graduation ceremony as campus officials cancelled them for most of the past 22 months.
While some universities refused to rearrange graduations, the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London are among those rescheduling ceremonies for their graduates.
But despite the scrapping of all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in England in recent days, students still face draconian curbs such as social distancing, mandatory face coverings and a ban on handshakes.
The Chairman of the student watchdog has now warned vice-chancellors they have “no excuse” to go further than the Government’s Covid rules.
Lord Wharton, who heads the Office for Students, told the Telegraph: “There is no excuse for universities imposing stronger restrictions than the Government requires.
“They should be looking to get back to normal – whether that’s with face-to-face teaching or organising proper graduations as students should be able to expect.”
The University of Cambridge has told graduates that the next five ceremonies between the end of February and April will be “in-person but no guests permitted”, meaning families cannot attend. Its website also says “face coverings [are] to be worn at specified times and social distancing”.
Imperial College London is hosting two rearranged “graduate-only” ceremonies in the Royal Albert Hall on March 10th and March 30th to “ensure the safety of everyone involved on the day” as “distancing measures will be in place”. Parents will be forced to watch their children graduate online.
“We know that this will be disappointing after so many years of support from your friends and family. The ceremonies will be live streamed on the graduation web pages so that they can support you from wherever they are in the world,” the University’s guidance says.
What’s the betting that university courses will still be “blended”, vaccine mandates will be in place and students will be forced to wear masks until the end of 2023?
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